Do you know how the original, unleavened Passover bread – matzah – was made? Our friends at The Nosher explore the origins of matzah, as well as the Jewish communities around the world who still make this unleavened bread from scratch:
While most matzah today is baked at a factory into uniform squares of brittle, crunchy crackers, hundreds of years ago, matzah was a thicker, softer, hand-made variety that few today would recognize. Some Sephardic Jews, however, still make matzah in this style, and when we found out, I wondered if this unleavened flatbread might be a clue to what matzah looked like before mass produced, factory-made matzah.
The Sephardic Passover blog, Too Good To Passover, writes “In Ethiopia, matzah is made just like it it had been done for the first Passover when the Jews were fleeing Egypt through the desert: By hand. And FAST.” The bread is still made in under 18 minutes, and it’s fried on a flat clay pan. The result is a flatbread that’s about the size of a pita, with a nutty, earthy taste. Since this type of matzah has a short shelf life, it’s eaten immediately or within a day or two.